Changing the Aviation Industry in Fiji

Now CEO at Silver Airways, Dave Pflieger previously served as chief executive officer and managing director of Air Pacific. During his tenure at Air Pacific, David Pflieger reduced operating losses that resulted in a F$24 million net profit. With a deep understanding of the aviation industry and of Fiji’s needs, Dave Pflieger led Air Pacific, soon to become Air Fiji, through a series of milestones.

In March of 2013, aviation in Fiji made a leap forward when the new airbus with Air Pacific arrived. Fiji’s president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau applauded the arrival of the three new planes and the expanded air routes that they will navigate as indicators of Fiji’s healthy economy and its reputation as a tourist destination for travelers from around the globe.

The president expressed confidence that the Air Pacific Airbus A330 will lead to increased arrivals, new jobs, and a dynamic tourism industry. The planes provide an added benefit of opening export opportunities.

After disembarking from one of Air Pacific’s new planes, Ratu Epeli expressed anticipation for continuing Fiji’s superior tourist tradition. He invited travelers to experience the beauty of his country and its distinctive culture and people.

Air Travel History Made in Fiji

Newly appointed chief executive officer, president, and member of the Silver Airways board of directors, Dave Pflieger succeeds Darrell Richardson. David Pflieger remained at his previous position as CEO at Air Pacific in Fiji until assuming his new role in May of 2013. In an announcement, Silver Airways chairman Matthew Ray anticipated reaping the benefits of Dave Pflieger’s significant industry experience.

An award-winning team comprises Silver Airways’ workforce. In 2013, Silver Airways won the coveted ATW Regional Airline of the Year Award. The carrier recently succeeded in such activities as a full turnaround, rebranding, adding flights to new destinations, and new partnerships with United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Significant indicators of the growth of Silver Airways include substantial positive changes for employees. With nearly 500 newly trained crew and non-crew employees, the carrier continues to rank as a best place to work and a workplace that values its employees’ quality of life. Silver Airways added increased health benefits and options, with reductions in what employees pay for benefits.

Dave Pflieger: Air Pacific’s Rebranding Efforts Go On After MD Departs

AirPacificAir Pacific recently decided to change its name to Fiji Airways as part of a rebranding initiative begun by managing director (MD) Dave Pflieger, whose contract ended on May 1, 2013. The top Fiji-based airline will have to continue on its new course without Dave Pflieger, who led an impressive turnaround at Air Pacific by restructuring its organization, re-equipping its fleet, and reversing what had been record revenue declines.

The airline now must find a new MD who can build upon David Pflieger’s successes. If the company promotes someone from within, it will allow the firm to choose a professional who is already familiar with the business structures currently in place. In fact, Mr. Pflieger himself originally hired or promoted several of the internal candidates for his former position.

As part of its continued revitalization, Air Pacific recently purchased multiple new A330-200 jet planes, which come with nearly 250 economy-class seats. The company hopes to use the A330’s extended range and increased payload capabilities to better serve airline customers.

Virgin America is a Leader in Green Air Travel

Former Senior Vice President of Virgin America Dave Pflieger played an integral role in developing and promoting the airline’s green initiatives. Dave Pflieger was part of the four-person team that established and expanded Virgin America into an award-winning airline with over 1,000 employees.

Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure have both named Virgin America “Best Domestic Airline.” The California-based airline is known as one of the most environmentally focused companies in the United States. Greenopia ranked Virgin America the greenest airline in the US based on criteria such as fuel conservation, recycling programs, alternative fuel usage, and carbon offset programs.

Virgin America’s employee-led Green Team works to reduce the airline’s carbon footprint through sustainable initiatives such as on-board recycling, in-flight menu items produced with sustainably-grown ingredients, and partnerships with local environmental groups.

In an industry not known for its environmental efforts, Virgin America continues to invest in aircraft, facilities, and people with the goal of ensuring a sustainable future for airline travel.

Dave Pflieger: Virgin America’s Green Team

Dave Pflieger is a former Senior Vice President of Virgin America. In his four years with the airline, Mr. Pflieger managed legal and government affairs, served as advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors, and implemented green initiatives that earned Virgin America recognition as the nation’s most eco-friendly airline.

Virgin America’s Green Team includes members from every area of the company, from pilots to those working at headquarters or in airport guest service. The Green Team pursues employee-led initiatives to reduce Virgin American’s environmental impact in the air and on the ground, and to foster sustainability in all company operations.

The Green Team has implemented recycling programs on Virgin American aircraft and in airports lacking recycling facilities. Team members have worked to reduce the environmental impact of commuting by using alternative forms of transportation such as biking or walking. Virgin America pilots in Ft. Lauderdale share bicycles at the crew hotel for use during layovers.

Virgin America, which is based in California, maintains partnerships with local environmental groups such as the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF). This year, the Green Team is teaming up with CSPF to celebrate Earth Day through cleanup and restoration projects throughout the state.

Dave Pflieger: Tips on Green Traveling

The CEO of Fiji’s Air Pacific, over the past two years Dave Pflieger has improved the airline’s revenues, customer satisfaction, and on-time performance, while implementing Air Pacific’s first fuel conservation program. The government of Fiji has appointed Dave Pflieger to its National Tourism Board. Here, he shares some tips on green traveling.

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling is to choose eco-friendly lodging and transportation options. Look for hotels that have a commitment to reducing environmental impact or are LEED-certified. When it comes to transportation, you can offset the greenhouse gas emissions of your flight by purchasing carbon offsets. While exploring your destination, walk, ride a bicycle, or take public transportation.

Support the community you are visiting by purchasing local goods and services, supporting locally owned businesses, and hiring local guides. In so doing, your experience will be unique and your money will go directly into the local economy.

David Pflieger: What is the B-52 Stratofortress?

David Pflieger was a U.S. Air Force Officer and Air Force Reserve Officer for a combined 15 years. He is credited with saving the lives of a crew aboard a B-52.

David Pflieger: What is the B-52 Stratofortress?

The B-52 Stratofortress, more commonly referred to as a B-52 or a B-52 bomber, is one of the oldest plane models still in service in the U.S. military. It has been used in basically the same form for over 40 years as a strategic, long-distance bomber, and at times, a surveillance vehicle. It flies at a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet at subsonic speeds topping out at 650 miles per hour. With a full tank it has a combat range of 8,800 miles, and with aerial refueling, the only limit is the endurance of its five man crew.

The B-52 has a length of 159 feet, a wingspan of 185 feet, and it weighs 185,000 pounds. Armaments can vary, but a typical load is 70,000 pounds of bombs, mines, and missiles. There are 85 B-52 jets in active service today.

Marine Protected Areas Help to Preserve Fiji’s Natural Wonders By David Pflieger

One aspect of Fiji that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year is the collection of shallow-water soft coral ecosystems that surround the country’s 333 islands and atolls. With corals being threatened by external factors such as pollution and global warming, Fiji has enacted strict measures to protect these natural wonders. In particular, a system of well-managed marine protected areas (MPA) has been set in place.

MPAs restrict or forbid activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing in sensitive areas. These farsighted regulations are designed to give fish stocks time to replenish and to ensure that vulnerable coral reefs have the opportunity to heal and rejuvenate. Reflecting Fiji’s longstanding tradition of communal living and sustainable fishing, the MPAs have been developed in collaboration with the country’s Matagali (tribal) leaders.

About the Author:

Under CEO and Managing Director David Pflieger’s leadership, Air Pacific, Ltd., has emerged as a leader in international and inter-island travel throughout Fiji. Pflieger also serves as Chairman of the Board at Tourism Fiji.

Dave Pflieger: Air Pacific’s Inaugural Flight to Hong Kong

CEO and Managing Director of Air Pacific Ltd., Dave Pflieger, has led the successful restructuring of the airline over the last three years. Air Pacific, soon to be Fiji Airways, now employs more than 900 employees while transporting over 1 million passengers each year.

Earlier this month, Air Pacific operated its first commercial flight to Hong Kong, China.
At the Nadi International Airport in Fiji, the inaugural flight was celebrated with traditional Chinese and Fijian ceremonies.

Recently, Air Pacific unveiled its new A330 aircraft, which feature many improvements over the older B747s, including in-flight entertainment systems, new seating, and other amenities. All Air Pacific customers traveling between Fiji and Hong Kong will travel on board the A330 aircraft.

Air Pacific is the only airline operating direct flights between Fiji and Hong Kong. The airline also operates connecting flights through Nadi to premier destinations in Australia and New Zealand, and offers customers complimentary food, beverages, and entertainment during flights.

According to Gallup, Fiji’s New Slogan Very Accurate

Recently, Dave Pflieger, Chairman of Tourism Fiji, participated in the rollout of a new slogan for the island nation. The “Fiji: Where Happiness Finds You” campaign seeks to attract tourists to the country. Pflieger explained that in Fiji, “you don’t have to look for [happiness], because it’s right here.” He attributed the serene, joyful atmosphere that prevails in Fiji to the gorgeous scenery and the friendly, welcoming locals.

A recent survey from Gallup gives scientific data to support Pflieger’s impressions. According to the survey, Fiji is the world’s happiest country. Fiji boasts a happiness index of 84. The world as a whole has a happiness index of 40, making people in Fiji more than twice as happy as the average country. The study also found that there is no link between wealth and happiness. Rather, happiness was a function of how comfortable people felt with their society and their relationships with others. Travelers who want to learn more about Fiji, its culture, and its attractions, can visit the “Discover Fiji” page at the website of Air Pacific, Fiji’s national airline, which will soon be rebranded as Fiji Airways.


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